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A Guide To Children’s Dentists

by Dr Jay Padayachy on December 21, 2020
childrens dentist guide

In a time when one in every three children do not brush their teeth often enough, dentist visits are more essential than ever. Seeing a professional helps to ensure that teeth and gums develop normally and serves as a preventative measure for future oral issues.

But when should you take your little one to a children’s dentist? What should you expect when you get there?

Here, we’re going to tackle these questions so that you can feel confident about taking your child to the dentist. Read on to learn exactly what will happen when you do so.

When to Take a Baby to the Dentist

When your baby is an infant, there is no reason to take them to the dentist. However, baby teeth begin to come in at around six months of age, at which point it is essential that you visit a professional. Regardless of what happens, your child must visit the dentist by the time they are a year old to ensure that their teeth are growing normally.

It is important that you begin dental visits early so that a professional can catch any issues that may arise when teeth begin to come in. Dentists can take x-rays of the mouth to see how teeth are beginning to form even before they push through the gums and teething begins. This will let them make sure that they are coming in straight and will not cause unnecessary discomfort for your baby.

Basically, once your baby begins to grow teeth, it’s time to make an appointment.

When Should I Start Taking My Child to the Dentist?

After the initial visit to the dentist in babyhood, children should continue to visit the dentist regularly. The average age of a toddler’s first dental visit is 2.6 years, but in reality, this visit should be their second or third.

In addition to considering the age of your child, you should also think about the state of their teeth and oral health. If you notice that your child’s teeth are coming in at strange angles, it’s critical that you have them looked at. This is also the case if your child is teething more heavily than normal or if they begin to complain about oral pain after they can speak.

What Happens at the First Dental Visit for Toddlers?

When your child first goes to the children’s dentist, you can expect a very short appointment. It will mostly consist of the dentist talking with your child (once they are old enough to understand the situation and speak back) so that your kid feels more comfortable with the person who will poke around in their mouth.

You will then hold your child while the dentist looks around your toddler’s mouth for abnormalities. The need to hold and comfort your kid will likely persist throughout the early years, so find a comfortable position that works well for you, your child, and your dentist.

The dentist will clean your child’s teeth as well once they are old enough. This cleaning consists of thorough brushing and flossing. They will also expect the gums and jaw as well as the child’s bite.

How Often Should a Child Go to the Dentist?

Like adults, it is recommended that children go to the dentist at least twice a year. This gives professionals frequent and ample opportunities to ensure that their teeth are growing correctly. They will have the chance to monitor what is going on and provide the best-quality professional input possible.

If there are any issues with your child’s teeth, you may need to search up ‘kid’s dentist near me’ and book appointments more often. This will make sure that your child is healthy and safe in all ways.

What Happens When a Child Gets a Filling?

If any abnormalities are found such as cavities, it’s possible that your child will need to get a filling. The process for doing this is similar to that when an adult gets a tooth filled. A small amount of local anesthesia will be used to numb the gums surrounding the kid’s tooth to prevent pain. The milk teeth will then be filled quickly and efficiently.

It’s likely that the dentist will show the child what’s going to happen on a model or doll before they get their tooth filled. This is intended to ease anxiety and comfort them by portraying the filling as a natural process that isn’t at all scary. Knowing what to expect will keep your child calm and relaxed.

After the filling when you take your child home, you will need to feed them exclusively soft foods for a few days. Additionally, make sure that you check out the swelling and pain every once in a while. It should decrease within a day or two, and if it does not, you will need to book another appointment.

Child Tooth Extraction Procedure

Sometimes a child will have an issue with a tooth that cannot be resolved by a simple filling. This is nothing to panic about- in fact, it happens to many toddlers. The dentist will need to extract the problem tooth, but this is no big deal since it would have been lost to make way for adult teeth in the future anyway.

The child will be given the same regional anesthesia that they would be administered for a filling. After that, the dentist will use a simple device called an ‘elevator.’ This loosens the tooth in its socket and makes it easier and less uncomfortable to pull. After that, forceps will be used to remove the tooth.

Child tooth extraction has no effect on your little one growing adult teeth. These teeth will develop normally in the gums when the time comes.

Visit a Children’s Dentist Today

Now that you know when your baby or toddler should go to the dentist and what to expect, it’s time to get started. 

Book an appointment when you feel that it is time to see a children’s dentist. Remember not to put it off for too long- it’s better to be safe and get your little one’s teeth looked at than to cause them more pain later on!

Dr Jay Padayachy

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